1992, Music

Liar (1992) by The Jesus Lizard

I love Goat so much that the first time I listened to this, I was severely disappointed. Why? Well, because it’s not Goat. We often get into this weird position when we love a record and it’s the only record we’ve ever heard by a band, where everything else seems to pale in comparison.

But Liar is a different record and that’s a good thing. And, if I remember back to when I first heard Goat, I suspect I had a similar hill to climb because though The Jesus Lizard are many things accessible is not really one of them.

These guys harness something so primal, so fundamental in rock music that it’s easy to overlook how arty they are, with Denison’s ridiculous, sometimes Frippian fretwork and Yow’s “singing.” (I read somewhere that Yow doesn’t think of himself as a singer, which is somewhat fitting.)

I’m not sure I like the riffs as much on this record if only because I haven’t quite heard them enough. I think that, with repeated listens, I might come to like them as much.

Yow’s vocals are arguably even crazed than on the previous record – or at least so low in the mix that they sound that way – which is another thing that prevented me from initially being as satisfied.

The rhythm section is as dynamic and vigorous as ever.

I can’t tell where I’ll rank this once I finally get around to listening to their entire catalogue. For now, it’s a solid #2 behind Goat not because this doesn’t satisfy my fix – does it ever – but because I just continue to love Goat so much.

Still really great stuff. Makes you think about what “punk” means when you listen to Green Day or The Offspring and try to measure them to this band.

8/10

All tracks written by The Jesus Lizard.

  1. “Boilermaker” 2:14
  2. “Gladiator” 3:59
  3. “The Art of Self-Defense” 2:38
  4. “Slave Ship” 4:12
  5. “Puss” 3:19
  6. “Whirl” 4:19
  7. “Rope” 2:18
  8. “Perk” 2:30
  9. “Zachariah” 5:42
  10. “Dancing Naked Ladies” 2:56

 

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